Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Rome Pressured the Congress of the United States into Passing the Health Care Bill

 by Pastor Hal Mayer

Rome’s influence was powerfully manifested in a recent vote in the United States House of Representatives, and subsequently forced the President to take action to support Rome’s demands. Remember that the Speaker of the House is a Roman Catholic named Nancy Pelosi. Though she is liberal, she has very good relations with the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States and abroad, particularly in Rome as you will soon see. Also, remember that the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, is also a Roman Catholic. And again, the minority leader of the House of Representatives is John Boehner, another Roman Catholic. Moreover, Roman Catholics make up essentially 30% of the U.S. Congress, many of whom were trained at Jesuit institutions, the most notable of which is Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

The decision that I am referring to is the health care bill that was recently enacted by Congress so that there can be universal health care in the United States. It is really a bill which is a dramatic step toward the socialization of American health care. It has been a key platform of President Obama’s administration. Interestingly, the Catholic Church, since 1963 has supported the concept of universal health care at public expense. The church and the liberal administration have found common cause.

While I don’t want to get into all the ramifications of this particular law, I do need to tell you just one piece of information that will help you understand the rest of what I am going to say. Originally this bill had provisions in it that would allow the government to pay for abortions as part of the health care plan.

The bill delegated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make abortion an essential benefit in all health plans, and in any ‘public plan’ created by the legislation. But the final House of Representatives version of the bill does not have that provision. In fact, abortion was specifically excluded from the House version in spite of the fact that President Obama is a strong supporter of liberal abortion laws, as is Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House. How the bill was changed is the story you need to hear.

But as the debate wended its way through Congress, I wondered if the Catholic Church would get more involved in some way. Little did I know that they were actually going to mobilize a major campaign to engineer a coup d‘état and force liberal democrats to vote in favor of conservative amendments against abortion funding in the bill.

On November 11, 2009, the Associated Press published an article entitled “Catholic Bishops Shape Health Care Bill.” The opening statement is very revealing. “Catholic bishops have emerged as a formidable force in the health care overhaul fight, using their clout with millions of Catholics and working behind the scenes in Congress to get strong abortion restrictions into the House bill.”

Notice that the bishops used their clout with millions of Catholics in America, 68 million of them in fact, to pressure Congress to do their will. They worked behind the scenes – stealthily I might add, just as prophecy predicted. The second sentence in the article is just as revealing… “[The bishops] don’t spend a dime on what is legally defined as lobbying, but lawmakers and insiders recognize that the bishops’ voices matter — and they move votes.”

The Wall Street Journal revealed much of the powerful campaign conducted by the bishops. Listen. “At least four representatives of the [Bishop’s Conference] worked the House…, holding private meetings with lawmakers and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The group distributed talking points to priests across the country and gave fliers to churches featuring the headline, ‘Health Care Reform Is About Saving Lives, Not Destroying Them.’ A prayer circulated to churches supporting an overhaul of the health-care system included the phrase: ‘We will raise our voices to protect the unborn.’” But that’s not all they did, as you will see in a few minutes.

Here is a little history. In the United States, there has been a long-standing open relationship between the leaders of government and the Roman Catholic bishops. Ever since at least the Carter Administration, presidents and popes began to cavort together and work in secret alliances to accomplish mutual geopolitical goals. These successful alliances have also opened the door for the bishops to become increasingly involved in direct intervention in domestic government affairs in the intervening years. As the Roman Catholic population in the United States has increased dramatically through immigration, and as the Catholic Church has become dramatically more popular in the last 30 years, the bishops have gained tremendous political clout. Almost all Americans have no objections to a foreign geopolitical power strongly influencing U.S. politics, if it is the Roman Catholic Church.

The Journal revealed what really happened secretly behind closed doors. “Representatives for the bishops were in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol suite negotiating with top officials… as they reached final terms of the agreement.”

Earlier in the day, Pelosi, a Catholic and an abortion rights supporter, had been contacted by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Washington’s former archbishop, now in Rome. He called her from Rome to discuss the abortion restrictions that he and Rome wanted in the bill. “It was just one element of an intensive lobbying effort orchestrated by the nation’s Catholic bishops,” wrote, “who have emerged as a formidable force in the health care negotiations.”

But this was only the beginning of the bishop’s intervention. They had a well planned strategy. I’ll quote again from the article. “It wasn’t the first time a high-ranking Catholic had weighed in with a key player on writing strict abortion curbs into the health measure. Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley personally appealed to President Barack Obama about it near the church altar (of all places) at the early September funeral for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. [In addition] Bishops quietly called their congressmen and senators to weigh in.”

Rome worked every angle she could. The Stupak amendment, by which the abortion restrictions are known, was the tool used to pressure Congress. It was designed and introduced by Representative Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a Roman Catholic, and a strong abortion opponent even though he is a Democrat. The Stupak amendment wasn’t even considered to be viable until the Catholic bishops got involved the week before the vote with a massive campaign to pressure the House of Representatives to take out the abortion funding. Listen to Bart Stupak’s own words; “The Catholic Church used their power — their clout, if you will — to influence this issue. They had to. It’s a basic teaching of the religion…”

“It was [actually] Stupak” said the AP report “who told Pelosi… that if she wanted a deal on the health bill, she’d be well advised to invite the bishops’ staff, who were already in his office, to her table. ‘I said, ‘Well, they’re here, and they’re one of the key groups you want to have on your side, so why don’t we just bring them in and work this out,’’ Stupak said.” Pelosi did, and the result revealed what really went on behind the scenes. The bishop’s conference convinced Nancy and other leading Democrats that the only way to get the House version of the health care bill passed was to include the anti-abortion Stupak amendment. The Stupak Amendment passed the House 240-196, leading to the narrow passage of the entire bill.

The amendment was co-sponsored by Joseph Pitts, an evangelical from Pennsylvania, and a strong abortion foe as well. This is an example of Catholics and Evangelicals working together to achieve Rome’s political goals.

The battle had became intense, both over the involvement of the Catholic Church and the amendment. There were actually up to 40 Democrats that were dissatisfied with the bill. They would have been enough to stop Pelosi’s health care bill if they were all unwilling to vote yes. Pelosi and her fellow Democratic leaders were working behind closed doors, scrambling to forge a compromise right down to the 11th hour to save the legislation. Rome obviously took advantage of this situation.

Several Democrats, including Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pennsylvania, said they are in touch with their Catholic bishops back home. Altmire said he must have the approval of his bishop in Pittsburgh before he can vote yes. Imagine having to ask your pastor’s approval to vote for something like this. How is it that the Catholic Bishops have such powerful influence?

Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio, said he’s “trying to get to yes,” but said he won’t vote for the health care bill unless it says “no federal funds used to pay for abortions and so that means no federal funds used to pay for abortion in the public option.” Dreihaus is a Roman Catholic who worked closely with Jesuit Xavier University for a time as a teacher of political science, and as one time director and now consultant to the Community Building Institute, a collaborative effort of Xavier and United Way. Dreihaus is very friendly with the Jesuits and no doubt understands how to work with them.

Fox News 4 published an editorial by radio commentator Bill Press entitled Congress of Catholic Bishops. “Consider this scenario," wrote Press. “After months of debate, the national legislature is set to cast an historic vote. But, before legislators can vote yea or nay, the bill must first be sent to the country’s Supreme Religious Council for its approval. Only after unelected clerics give their blessing are elected politicians permitted to vote.

“Did that happen in Iran? No, it happened right here, in the House of Representatives, during [the] vote on health care reform.

“A carefully crafted piece of legislation — the result of months of debate by three different House committees — was before the House for a final vote. But, at the 11th hour, lobbyists for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops descended on the Capitol, declared they could not accept provisions in the bill restricting federal funding of abortion, demanded that the language be made tougher and dutiful Democrats did just what the bishops ordered.”

In other words, the conservative Catholic vote in the House of Representatives was so vital to Nancy Pelosi that she knew, ultimately, that she had to have the bishop’s support. She needed 218 votes. Considering that the bill lacked 19 votes up until that time, it is astonishing that the bill narrowly passed, suggesting that the arm-twisting was very intense. The final count was 220 in favor of the bill, just two votes to spare. It also suggests that those 21 votes were holding up the voting in favor of the demands of the Catholic Church.

Obviously my friends, the Catholic bishops convinced Nancy Pelosi and certain other Democratic leaders that they would lose the whole health care reform bill if they didn’t make the abortion changes.

Bill Press continued; In so doing, they might just as well have tossed the First Amendment, and its separation of church and state, right out the window. Civil liberty advocates should be equally angry over such a blatant violation of the Constitution,” he said. “In effect, members of Congress gave Catholic bishops a veto over federal legislation: power that no group of religious leaders should hold over a secular, popularly elected Congress. Who elected the bishops, anyway? And whom do they represent?”

My friends, the “stones” are crying out. Though Mr. Press, a Catholic, is on the other side of the abortion question from the bishops, and even though many of God’s people would agree with the bishops concerns, students of prophecy should not miss the importance of what happened.

Listen to the prophet Daniel in speaking of the power of Rome. It’s from Chapter 7:7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it…” While we have not seen this power in its fullest strength, we are beginning to see how Rome does this. She devoured the Democrats and broke them down. This is only the beginning folks, but we must see that this is a partial fulfillment of this prophecy. Rome is getting ready to devour God’s people if she can, and “destroy the mighty and the holy people,” Daniel 8:25 says. Those are the ones who keep all of God’s commandments and have the Holy Spirit in latter rain power. Rome is demonstrating her power as she rises to the height to which prophecy destines her.

Bill Press made another very interesting point. “Why is there special treatment for Catholic bishops?” he asked. “Can you imagine the complaints from Democrats if religious conservatives James Dobson and Pat Robertson had been given the same access? Or the howls of outrage from conservatives if Congress first took time out to ask Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for their blessing? Not to mention the universal uproar [there would be] were a group of Muslim clerics consulted before the vote. No other group of religious leaders would have been given that special access to the corridors of power…”

While any American Catholic, even a bishop has the right to speak out on political matters in America as an individual, it is another thing however, for the bishops to lobby Congress as a religious entity or church, and then go on a full throttle campaign to pressure Congress through Catholic Church members. This is a violation of the intent of the first amendment, separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution, if not of the constitution itself. The reason the bishops have such powerful influence is because of the dual nature of the Catholic Church. No other church has the kind of power that Rome has because they are not a mixture of Church and nation state. The Bible tells us this in Revelation 17 by describing this entity as both a beast and a woman. There are other nations that mix religion and politics, but none of them have the global clout that Rome has.

Bill Press concluded; “If Catholic bishops are going to demand a voice in legislation, then they must do what all other special interests in Washington do: register as lobbyists and pay their taxes. If they insist on playing politics, then we should insist on taking away the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status.”

In other words, the nation’s laws are being influenced and manipulated by a powerfully influential church that is doing so without paying taxes. This is illegal in the United States.

In essence the Vatican actually passed judgment on civil legislation in the United States Congress before the vote was taken, and in effect, delivered Catholic votes for it once their demands were met. The outcome of the legislation in the House demonstrates that while the Republicans don’t have the votes to stop proposed legislation, the Vatican has the power to get it passed in harmony with its own agenda.

Notice that the Roman Catholic Church, a foreign nation, is now in a position to judge at least some of America’s laws. This should not go unnoticed by students of prophecy. When the Catholic Church has the power to successfully pressure the U.S. House of Representatives against their own majority, we have come to an unprecedented moment in history. It makes you wonder how long it will be until Rome will reach critical mass, so that any law that impinges in her principles, will ultimately be “engineered” or “fixed” by the Catholic bishops. More dangerously, how long will it be until Rome is capable of getting laws initiated and passed that restrict God’s last generation of Sabbath keepers, such as Sunday laws?

While you and I may agree with Rome’s position concerning abortion, this process in Congress to politically pressure legislative representatives to do her will, even though the vast majority disagree with Rome concerning abortion, is extremely significant.

There were enough conservative Democrats, mostly Catholic, who oppose abortion and would not vote in favor of the legislation unmodified, that the liberal and most powerful Democrats had to forego one of their key principles to bring the conservatives over to support the health care bill. The fact that the bill passed by only two votes, tells us that Rome has enough power to influence the outcome if it is one of Rome’s key principles, even when there is a wide margin of votes against her. It also tells us that Rome doesn’t yet have full throttle power if the House is more united against her positions. But she is well on the way to having it.
Not that long ago Republicans held the power of Congress. Democrats were very weak for most of the years between the Reagan administration and the present. The Democratic Party had to get more conservative Democrats elected into congressional office. Listen to the Wall Street Journal.

“The bishops’ success” wrote the Journal “served as a reminder that Democrats’ strategy over the past two election cycles of recruiting more conservative candidates to run in competitive House and Senate seats can have unwelcome policy consequences for liberals among the party’s base. About 40 House Democrats are opposed to abortion rights.”

Do you see what happened? Once there were enough conservative Democrats in Congress that were opposed to abortion, the Catholic Church could then use them to manipulate Congress into legislating in harmony with her religious principles. That is dangerous, my friends. What would happen if more conservative Democrats were elected to the U.S. Congress.

“The bishops have a history of political activism,” continued the Journal. “In the 2004 presidential race, some bishops said they would refuse to grant communion to Democratic nominee John Kerry, a Catholic who favored abortion rights. In 2005, the bishops’ conference backed efforts by then-President George W. Bush and Republican lawmakers to intervene in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case. But rarely has the church entered the fray with such decisive force [as it did with the health care reform bill].”

Remember that of the members of Congress, 30 percent are Roman Catholic. Most of them are liberals. But should that change and more conservatives get voted into office over time, the landscape could change, giving Rome additional power. However, even now full power could arise on a specific issue if almost the whole nation were united concerning it. For instance, if massive disasters occurred and the bishops, mainstream pastors and evangelical preachers began promoting Sunday observance as a way to get the nation back to God, Sunday laws could easily pass through the House and the Senate rather quickly.

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops…” continued the Associated Press, “derives its power in large part from the sheer number of Catholics in this country… but also from the special moral and religious standing of its members. Many of them are in regular contact with lawmakers, weighing in on issues from immigration policy to benefits for low-income people.”

Note the point about special moral and religious standing of the Catholic Church members. The suggestion here is that they have more power and influence than other people when Roman Catholic members speak.
Kathy Saile, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops made a very telling comment that was quoted in the AP article mentioned earlier. After pointing out that the Democrats are keenly aware of the power of Catholic voters, more than 50% of whom voted for President Obama, the AP reported that Kathy Saile said, “This was a lot of members of Congress listening to their constituents.” Of course she means that mainly Roman Catholic constituents were being listened to by Democrats that are keenly aware of their power. This comment coming from the Catholic Bishops spokesperson suggests that the bishops had been working behind the scenes urging their people to contact their elected officials, even telling them what to say.

This is, in fact, exactly what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did. They engaged in an outright, all-out campaign, largely out of sight of the public press by distributing “fliers to every parish in the nation asking people to pray for abortion restrictions and to call their congressmen and senators asking them to ‘fix these bills with pro-life amendments,’” said the AP report.

Moreover, continued the AP article, “the conference staff got elbow-deep in the legislative machinations on the health measure, even having bishops intervene with Republicans — who were loath to help Democrats pass their bill — to make sure they supported the abortion provisions.”

In other words, the bishops worked both sides of the political isle to get the legislation passed with provisions satisfactory to themselves. Incidentally, they weren’t as successful with Republicans as they were with Democrats. Only one Republican voted for the bill.

His name was Jospeh Cao, a Roman Catholic from New Orleans, LA. Once the anti-abortion provisions were included, he was prepared to support the health care reform bill. Cao studied for six years at a Jesuit seminary to become a Jesuit priest, but eventually abandoned that to pursue Philosophy and Law. Cao attended both Jesuit Fordham University in New York, and Loyola University in New Orleans to acquire his masters degree and his law degree respectively. Loyola had him teaching undergraduate philosophy classes while in law school there. No doubt Cao is very familiar with Catholic teaching and the Church’s positions concerning universal health care and abortion. Moreover, one would expect that he could be depended on to assist Rome in her efforts to get the legislation passed in the House of Representatives.

The AP article went on to say that “The outcome [of the health care vote in the House of Representatives] left abortion-rights supporters, who couldn’t muster enough votes in the House to head off Catholic… intervention, fuming. The bishops ‘essentially got signoff. They dictated this, and it’s totally inappropriate — it’s blatant interference between church and state,’ said Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority. ‘The women’s movement and the pro-choice forces feel like they were had.’”

I want you to think about those comments for a minute. Can you see what is happening? Those who are defending the separation of church and state in this case, are the feminists and pro-abortionists. Will those who defend the separation of church and state on the grounds of Bible principle get lumped in with these? When the best solution to a national or international emergency is a religious solution that sounds very pious and righteous, but is actually overturning the separation of church and state, and compelling people to break the law of God, how effective do you think God’s faithful people will be in arguing in favor of separation of church and state, and against Sunday laws, when linked with people that press progressive liberal agendas? Friends, in more than one way, God’s Sabbath keeping people have also been “had” by the Roman Catholic bishop’s intervention. It is only a matter of time.

"Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an evangelical group that tends to side with Republicans, said Saturday’s vote ranked among the most important victories for abortion foes since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure, because it came under Democratic leadership,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

Speaking of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference, “We’re glad to take responsibility for this bill, and the credit.” But the real credit goes to the Catholic Bishops whose aggressive campaign handed the vote to the Democrats. When the Vatican has the ability to turn liberal Democrats on their heads, my friends, we can see that Rome has largely fulfilled its prophetic destiny to become perhaps the most powerful religious and political influence in American politics.

Listen to this statement from the book Great Controversy, page 588. “The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The United States is perhaps toward the end of the process of reaching across the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power.

Friends, we are in the state of orange alert, and not far from red alert. “The evidence indicates that the Bishops-and the Vatican itself-are calling the shots behind the scene,” wrote Accuracy in “In fact, as many media organizations are now reporting, they engineered the “compromise” that deleted abortion funding so the bill could pass the House.”

The Bishops also went after the Senate, but were not able to get an amendment to the Senate version of the bill to eliminate abortion funding. Apparently, the Senate doesn’t have enough abortion foes yet for the Catholic Church to do what it did in the House. That is why Rome has clearly not reached the zenith of her power. However, during the reconciliation process between the two versions of the bill, the Bishops again pressed hard for the removal of the funding. Again, the conservative members of the House held out for abortion restrictions. This in turn forced President Obama to issue an executive order to restricting funding for abortion in the reconciled bill. Only then did enough conservatives vote in favor of the bill.

The Bishops were not satisfied with an executive order because it can be sassily changed. No doubt, they will keep putting pressure on the legislative bodies until they get what they want. Because of other constitutional issues in the bill, there are already a number of states that have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Federal Government to challenge the whole law. Certainly the Bishops will use their clout to influence the outcome if they can.

Friends, as we get closer to the time of the close of probation, do you think there are some things that you should do to get ready for the crisis? I hope you are taking these things seriously and doing what you have to do to have a very close relationship with Jesus. Now is the time; not sometime in the future. Today is the day of salvation. We must be spiritually prepared if we want to be protected by God’s grace when there is no human law to do so.    Keep the Faith